God of small things

It is not just the big, blockbuster performances that make a difference to the organization but a myriad of small, behind-the-scene activities that can all add up to create significant business impact.

Here’s a brief list of what such activities could be:

  • Specific core work-related tasks executed well – exceeding expectations of clients/ internal stakeholders
  • Awareness of EHS, IT Security and other policy guidelines
  • Participating in cross-functional activities such as training, knowledge management or best-practice sharing
  • Useful suggestions to improve enabling processes such as Facilities Management, Admin, Finance, etc.

And possibly several dozen other things. Each of these acheivements on its own may not mean much in the larger organizational context but when put together they do make a difference to the organization!

However, most reward systems tend to ignore such small achievements and instead focus on big, high impact ones. These smaller acheivements too deserve to be rewarded in some way.

A few progressive organizations have created comprehensive reward systems that identify and reward such achievements apart from the blockbuster ones – typically a point-based system that award employees small number of points for such activities and allow them to accumulate these points over time. So an employee who demonstrates reasonable level of performance at work, is well aware of organizational policies, is involved in cross-functional activities and makes valuable suggestions to improve organizational processes can hope to accumulate over a month or a quarter at least 50-75% of the points received by his or her peers for their superlative achievements. This keeps them motivated to keep doing the small stuff well while aspiring to get into the big league! Doesn’t that make sense?

-by HiFives

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